Monday, October 26, 2009

Week of October 26, 2009

Updated 10/29/09. Latest news is at the bottom of the post.

Brazilian water-weed success story from Washington State



Officials hope they've finally eradicated a noxious plant choking a stretch of the Chehalis River in south Thurston County, WA more than 10 years after it was discovered there.

The Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Board completed the annual removal of Brazilian elodea (Egeria densa) from the salmon-bearing river at the end of September and could find no remaining trace of the plant.

It will continue to monitor the river, and the plant will be deemed eradicated if there’s no evidence of its return in the next three years, said Rick Johnson, Thurston County’s noxious weed coordinator.

“We’re thrilled we’re in front of it instead of playing catch-up,” he said.

Brazilian elodea is a pesky plant. Rooting in waters up to 20 feet deep, the dark-green, fast-growing plant forms dense mats of stems and leaves near the water’s surface.

It blocks fish passage and lowers dissolved oxygen by slowing movement in the water, which concerned officials. In 2007, in the midst of an aggressive removal project, dissolved oxygen levels in the river increased about 8 percent after the removal, according to the board.


Brazilian elodea, native to South America, once was a popular aquarium plant. The state has since banned its sale.

Officials suspect someone dumped the contents of an aquarium into Plummer Lake in Lewis County. Johnson said aquarium gravel was discovered in the lake near the boat launch. The plant eventually flowed into the Chehalis River and took root in the slow-moving stretch of the river near Prather Road.

The plant was discovered in 1998 during a survey in search of other problem weeds.

Thurston County began removing individual plants a year later. Individual hand removal was deemed impractical after several years because the infestation grew too large.


Dive teams were used to help remove the plant beginning in 2004. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, state Department of Natural Resources and state Department of Ecology contributed funding. Johnson estimated that removal work has cost $200,000.

The Chehalis Indian Tribe, state Salmon Recovery Funding Board and Nature Conservancy assisted in the effort.


At its peak, the plant infested 35 acres of the river, Johnson said. Divers removed the remaining 8 acres of the plant this season. He estimated that 300,000 pounds of the plant have been removed.

It is the only location in Thurston County infested with Brazilian elodea, officials said.

Gene Little, the weed board’s chairman, said in a news release that the removal project is a lesson about how much damage one thoughtless act can do, as well as about the need to educate people about invasive species.

“But there’s also a very positive lesson about how, when government agencies, tribes and nonprofit citizens organizations collaborate, we can make things right in our rivers and our environment,” he said.

Read the story at link.

Story sent by Janet Andersen


New Regulations Proposed by U.S. Department of Agriculture to Help Stem the Tide of Non-Native Pests

Four hundred non-native insects and plant diseases are wreaking havoc across North America

ARLINGTON, VA — October 15, 2009 —The Nature Conservancy, working with industry partners and scientists, is supporting revamped regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve its ongoing efforts to block non-native insects and diseases from entering the country and protect American homeowners, businesses, agriculture and native trees.

First adopted in 1918, U.S. regulations governing international trade in plants have remained fundamentally unchanged as this trade has mushroomed to at least 500 million plants imported each year. The U.S. government is accepting public comments until Oct. 21 on the revised rules.

“The USDA’s proposed regulations are a vital step in the right direction. The rules will do more to prevent foreign insects and pathogens from entering the country, rather than have citizens, business owners, and communities bear the costly burden of controlling an invasion,” says Frank Lowenstein, director of the Conservancy’s Forest Health Program.

Industry and conservationists are uniting ahead of the change in plant import regulations by launching a new educational campaign, Plant Smart, to encourage careful planting and to support actions that result in better protection of America’s trees from harmful foreign species.

“The nursery industry faces huge costs both to control the pests and in loss of sales and other interruptions,” says Jerry Lee, Environmental Services Manager at Monrovia, a nursery that supplies more than 5,000 garden centers nationwide. “When our company was hit by the Sudden Oak Death pathogen, we suffered tremendous business interruptions and expense. Had the pest never been introduced from outside the United States, this all could have been prevented.”

New plant pest introductions are detected at a rate of one every 12 days. Some of these threaten America’s trees, adding to the burden of the approximately 400 tree pests already established.
If implemented, the USDA rules would create a new category called NAPPRA (Not Authorized for Importation Pending Pest Risk Assessment), under which the nation could quickly stop
import of some problem plants until procedures can be implemented to ensure they are safe.

The USDA, industry and conservationists agree that stronger federal regulations are needed on plant imports. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the primary agency tasked with preventing the entry of potentially invasive pests and pathogens through nursery plant imports and other pathways. Without updated regulations, homeowners, horticulture and timber-related businesses, forest land owners, and governments all face billions of dollars in lost revenues or costs to control the pests.

“Invasive foreign pests and diseases are scarring landscapes in neighborhoods, city parks, ski slopes and hiking trails, and killing the trees that bring us maple syrup, fine furniture and Major League Baseball bats,” says Faith Campbell, senior policy representative at the Conservancy. “Often it is simply impossible to control them once the pests are established, so we need better regulations in place to prevent invasive insects and diseases from entering the country.”

Of 25 extremely damaging forest pests introduced since the mid-1800s, 18 are believed to have arrived on imported plants — including sudden oak death, the citrus longhorned beetle, chestnut blight and the cycad blue butterfly (the caterpillar of which feeds on tropical cycads).

Because the pests and diseases arrive on live hosts, they can survive a relatively long time. In many cases, they live long enough to arrive at a nursery, where they can spread to other plants and end up in places where it is a short hop to local forests. These invaders are taking a disastrous toll on ecosystems from dying oak trees in California's woodlands to the standing ghosts of dead Fraser fir on North Carolina peaks.

How to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive foreign pests and diseases:

• Write to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in support of the new rules, or call 1-877-378-5457 for assistance.

• Ask your local nursery how they keep their plants free of invasive insects and diseases, and let them know you support those practices.

• Ask your local nursery staff for help identifying invasive plants so they won’t become a problem for your yard or local trees.

• Learn to identify invasive forest pests. If you spot an invasive pest or disease on trees in your community, click here to learn how to report it.

• Clean your boots before you hike in a new area to avoid spreading harmful weed seeds and diseases such as sudden oak death.

• Don't "pack a pest" when traveling. Fruits and vegetables, plants, insects and animals can carry pests or become invasive themselves. Don't move firewood or cuttings or live plants more than 50 miles (it can harbor forest pests) and throw out food before you travel from place to place.

• If you’ve experienced the destruction of invasive pests, either in your yard or while exploring the forest, send us your story and photographs for possible publication.

• Volunteer at your local park, refuge or other wildlife area to help remove invasive species. Help educate others about the threat.

• Support the Conservancy’s work to protect trees.

If you work in the nursery industry:

• Join the Plant Smart campaign to help protect your business and America’s trees.

• Write to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in support of better regulations that prevent the importation of harmful species.

• Ask your suppliers about best management practices they have adopted to reduce this risk.

To learn more about the Plant Smart campaign and for tips on how the nursery industry and consumers can help prevent the spread of invasive foreign pests, visit in the coming weeks.

Read the article at link.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide.

The Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases is a group of organizations and individuals that cultivates and catalyzes collaborative action among diverse interests to abate the threat to North American forests from non-native insects and diseases.


Invasive plants plague land, too in Vermont

By Dorothy Pellett, Free Press correspondent

If it seems as though you’ve been hearing the words “invasive plants” more often in 2008 and 2009, you’re probably right — and a growing number of Vermonters hope everyone has been listening.

Sharon Plumb is invasive species coordinator with The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. Her job is to broaden the scope of knowledge about why we should care about invasive plants and what we can do about them, specifically about terrestrial plants — those that grow on land.

“Other groups were working with aquatic invasives, but no one was doing terrestrials,” Plumb said.

Now, the state is considering adding three popular plants to a quarantine list, prohibiting their sale and distribution.

What’s the trouble? Plumb cites an area where barberry became rampant at Hildene, the historic Lincoln family home in Manchester.

“In 24 acres of sugarbush, the entire understory is barberry,” she said. “It is a rich northern hardwood forest. There should have been sugar maple, white ash, basswood, black cherry, hophornbeam and beech seedlings and saplings, maidenhair fern, wild leeks, blue cohosh, hepatica and wild ginger. The carpet of 4-foot-high barberry, extending for acres and acres, prevented sunlight from reaching the floor.

“The others cannot survive in those conditions,” Plumb said.

In the past year, in partnership with the statewide Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Committee, she has held 50 workshops to spread the message of damage done by invasive plants and to demonstrate their control. She works with conservation commissions, school groups, garden clubs and nonprofit organizations.

This month, she spent three days at Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich with students from Hartford Career and Technology Center and other volunteers, removing buckthorn, honeysuckle and burning bush.

“I like to work where I can have a ripple effect,” Plumb said.

The museum is one of 15 demonstration sites where The Nature Conservancy has established partnerships to educate visitors about invasive plants.

Plumb is trying to engage the public in stewardship of land where plants are living up to their title of “invaders.” Late this month, Vermont Youth and Conservation Corps members are set to join Plumb and volunteers at the Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge, where there is an ongoing campaign to remove honeysuckle. [...]

Read the full story at link.


Invasion of Asian longhorned beetles

By Peter Alsop
Photographs by Max Aguilera-Hellweg
Smithsonian Magazine, November 2009


On a pleasant july evening Donna Massie steered her car into her driveway at the bottom of Whitmarsh Avenue in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her husband, Kevin, and his friend Jesse were huddled beside Jesse's car, a gold Hyundai Sonata, and were peering closely at one of its doors. They were staring not at a dent but at a striking black-and-white beetle, about the width of Donna's pinkie and half as long, with bluish legs and two banded antennas that curved back over the length of its body like the whiskers of a catfish.

The beetle gently probed the surface of the car with its forelegs. None of the three was much of a bug person, and Donna was decidedly anti-bug, stipulating a death-to-insect policy in her house. Still, the beetle transfixed her. It was larger than any she'd ever encountered, and with its otherworldly colors it was almost beautiful. Before the creature whirled its wings and flew away, Massie and her husband decided that it must be a June bug, albeit a freakish sort.

The insect might have escaped further notice, and evaded authorities altogether, if the Massies had not hosted a cookout two days later in their backyard, where others began to notice the curious beetles. They were hard to miss, creeping along the trunks of the maple trees that fringed the Massies' yard. Their black wing casings stood out starkly against the silver bark. One beetle planted itself on Kevin's pant leg and had to be pried loose. Then Donna noticed something unnerving. Near the base of one maple, she found a beetle sprinkled with sawdust, its head submerged in a dime-size hole in the tree's trunk. It seemed to be eating its way inward.

The following morning, Donna searched the Internet and identified her backyard visitor as an Asian longhorned beetle, also known by the abbreviation ALB. Her search also turned up a pest alert from the state of Florida that warned of the dangers posed by the insect. Donna began leaving messages with various agricultural authorities.

Patty Douglass, who works for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), was in her office in Wallingford, Connecticut, 75 miles south of Worcester, when Donna Massie's call came through. In her position as the plant health director for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Douglass regularly fields phone calls from gardeners, landscapers and amateur entomologists who believe they've encountered one of the nonnative insects on the USDA's threat list. Nearly all of these calls prove to be in error, as the insect universe is almost incomprehensibly large and varied, and mistakes in identification are easily made. The beetle order alone contains some 350,000 known species; by comparison, the total number of bird species is roughly 10,000. [...]

Read the full story (4 pages with photographs) at link.


Town to set aside funds for invasive species in Lake Placid

By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

LAKE PLACID, NY - The town of North Elba is planning to set aside funds in next year's town budget to help protect Lake Placid from invasive species.

Supervisor Roby Politi said the town has tentatively budgeted $15,000 for the Lake Placid Shore Owners Association, which would use the money to pay a steward to staff the boat launches on the lake and inspect boats and trailers for invasive plants. Last year the association only received $1,000 from the town.

"Lake Placid is one of our most important resources, and I think it's imperative we try to maintain the quality of that lake," Politi said Thursday, a day after meeting with Shore Owners Association President Mark Wilson and village of Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall. "It's what we're named for. We need to take care of it."

Politi stressed, however, that the funding commitment isn't final.

"You never know what's committed until the last couple days of the budget process," he said. "We do intend to do our best to include their request within the budget."

If the funding is allocated, Wilson said it will be helpful but won't cover the total cost of providing stewards at both the state Department of Environmental Conservation boat launch at the Lake Placid Marina and the village boat launch on Victor Herbert Road. Wilson estimates it will cost $48,000 to have complete coverage - eight hours a day, seven days a week for 15 weeks - at both launches using stewards from the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith's College.

"Obviously we're going to have to scramble to get enough money from whatever source we can," he said. "We're going to write grant applications and go to every possible public, private or nonprofit source we can find."

Wilson doesn't want the village boat launch to be closed entirely, but he said the village board should consider only allowing canoes and kayaks, boats that don't need trailers, to access the lake there.

"The trailers are the chief vector of this invasive, and the boats that are carried on trailers; push all the trailer traffic to the DEC launch," he said.

Wilson has been pressing the village to take some kind of action since the discovery of variable-leaf milfoil in Paradox Bay in June. The invasive was removed at the association's expense, but Wilson said further stewardship is needed to prevent future problems.

He plans to ask for a public forum to discuss the issue.

"I know there is quite a move to keep the village launch open," he said. "I'd be perfectly willing to have an open forum where we can discuss our side, they can bring their side to the table, and the village can decide what is a responsible action to take."

Read the story at link.


New York DEC restocks indigenous fish population at Ridgebury Lake

From the Mid-Hudson News Network

WAWAYANDA, NY – The State Department of Environmental Conservation Thursday continued its two year effort to restock Ridgebury Lake in the Town of Wawayanda.

It re-introduced largemouth bass, crappies and crayfish population, which had been in danger due to the invasive and predatory Northeastern Snakehead. That species had begun to populate the lake and was subsequently eradicated by the DEC through the use of rotenone, which is a naturally occurring root that is toxic to the snakehead.

Willie Janeway, the DEC regional director, said the Snakehead is a rather nasty breed.

“There is really nothing to stop these fish from going into the Hudson, up the Hudson, into the Canal system, and across the entire state, which is why it was so important that we eliminate the invasive Snakehead here and follow up and restore with the natural fish populations,” he said.

Janeway said the cost of this project was less than $10,000 and came out of a fund specifically set aside to handle this problem when it began two years ago, well before the budget crisis.

The Northeastern Snakehead has also been found in some of the freshwater locations in Staten Island, but are contained and samples were taken and all efforts made to be certain that the invasive species was no longer in the lake.

Local Fisheries Director Michael Flaherty and John Clark of Northeastern Aquatics, the hatchery where the endangered species of fish were bred, restocked 1,500 largemouth bass, 1,200 crayfish, 1,500 yellow perch and 1,000 crayfish into the lake.
That accounted for only half of the amount being used to repopulate the lake, the balance of which will be brought by the middle of next month.

Read the story at link.


Call for Abstracts, Florida EPPC Symposium, April 5 - 8, 2010

The 25th Annual Florida EPPC Symposium is being held April 5th-8th, 2010 in Crystal River, Florida. This year's theme is Changes in Latitude, highlighting the role of invasive species in global climate change and addressing how Florida's land managers can maintain a positive outlook in light of economic hardships. The meeting will be held at the Plantation Golf Resort & Spa.

Deadline for Abstract Submissions: November 30, 2009.

Program Topics: Submissions are welcome for any area of invasive plant species investigation, including but not limited to: Ecology, Economics, Management, Climate Change, Risk Assessment, Policy and Regulation, Evolutionary Biology, and Interdisciplinary Projects.


Abstracts must include the following information:

• Title of the proposed paper
• Full name and professional title of the author, organization to which s/he belongs, mailing address, phone number(s), and email address
• If there are multiple authors, please provide the above information for each.
• Text of the abstract (limit of 400 words)

General rules regarding abstracts: Please do not include figures, tables or mathematical equations in the abstract. Use standard abbreviations for units of measure. Other abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out in full at first mention, followed by the abbreviation/acronym in parentheses. If you use references, provide the journal, volume, year and page numbers.

A letter or notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed to the author(s) no later than December 15th, 2009. Online submission of abstracts is strongly encouraged. If web access is not available, please submit abstracts to: Jon Lane, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Email: jon.s.lane[at]


Wild boars arriving in Western New York

Matt Pitts,

wild_boarFrom zebra mussels, to the emerald ash borer, New York State has seen its share of invasive species. But you may not believe what's causing concern now.

Feral pigs, also known as wild boars, have arrived in Western New York. For the past couple of years the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has tried to contain some herds in the central part of the state.

But now officials at Allegheny State Park have confirmed for the first time, their presence there, about 50 miles south of Buffalo.

Because they're not native to New York, there are two schools of thought as to how they got started here. One theory is some wild boars escaped from a game farm. The other goes that they could well have been simple pink piggies that bolted from a hog farm.

"When they go to the wild they actually go through a morphological change. Their hair turns thicker, darker and courser, and their tusks develop. You wouldn't think that little pink porker could become that razorback type of boar but it does," said New York DEC Wildlife Manager Mark Kandel.

They're also extremely destructive to the eco-system, substantially damaging crops, while wreaking havoc on native animals and water quality.

Feral pigs generally shy away from people. But because they're not a protected species, and because they're so destructive, the DEC has instructed hunters that if they see these things, shoot them.

Read the story at link.


Massachusetts ALB Newsletter

This is Volume 1, Issue 15 (10/29/2009) of the ALB Newsletter, your link to the latest information about the Asian longhorned beetle, brought to you by the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project (MIPOP).

Get this news as it happens with the ALB Twitter feed:

----Recent News----

Volunteers across Massachusetts will be handing out ALB temporary tattoos to lucky trick-or-treaters this Halloween!

At a recent debate hosted by Boston Park Advocates, Boston City Councilor candidate Felix Arroyo was asked, "What does the Asian longhorned beetle mean to you?" Read his response here (

The Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources recently released a free ALB tree guide. The guide prints on a single page (double-sided) and is ideal for giving out to volunteers participating in ALB tree surveys:

Members of the Worcester County Beekeepers Association met with federal officials from the Worcester Eradication Program to discuss the treatment of trees with pesticide in the fight against ALB (Worcester Telegram & Gazette):

Smithsonian Magazine has published a comprehensive article about the Asian longhorned beetle infestation in Worcester:

Thanks to everyone who responded to the "Easter Egg" message in our last newsletter! ALB T-shirts will be going out in the mail next week.

---- Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities ----

Volunteers are needed to assist with ALB tree surveys in the Springfield and Boston areas. The surveys are being held to train volunteers and to raise awareness about the beetle in parts of the state where ALB is more likely to show up (but hasn't yet!). Springfield survey is Nov. 9th, Boston survey is Nov. 14th. For details, go to

The Worcester Tree Initiative is having a tree planting and giveaway event at Worcester Tech. High School on Saturday, Nov. 7th. To volunteer with the Worcester Tree Initiative program or learn about tree giveaways for those affected by ALB, go to:

The Massachusetts Landscape & Nursery Association has organized two Asian longhorned beetle training sessions to be run by MDAR staff on November 12th in Westborough. MCH credit available, Pesticide credits pending. More information at:

Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) staff will be speaking about ALB to the Massachusetts Cemetery Association on November 5th at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Also, watch for an Asian longhorned beetle display at the Winchester EcoFest on this Saturday, October 31st.

A free ALB general information session will be held by MDAR staff at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on Wednesday, November 18th, from 12:30-2pm. To register, email bdrexler AT or call 508-877-7630 x3302

Learn to survey for ALB and ALB tree damage with the Greater Worcester Land Trust. Volunteer crews go out most Thursdays at 12pm. Email anne AT for more details and to RSVP.


Invasive Plants: From the Nursery to Your Garden

By Aimee Kemp

According to the New York Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI), New York is plagued by about twenty invasive plant species. On this list are thirteen common plants that are available at plant nurseries in the New York area, including:

* Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
* Mile a minute vine (Persicaria perfoliata)
* Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
* Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
* Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
* Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
* Russian olive (Elaeganus angustifolia)
* Smooth buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
* Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
* Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
* Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
* Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
* Swallow-wort (Cynanchium louiseae)
* Burning bush (Euonymous alatus)

I was curious to see how these plants are finding their way into gardens to begin with, so I decided to survey some New York nurseries online to see exactly what I could find in their inventory. I will not mention the names of these nurseries, but I will say that out of seven nurseries in the New York state area surveyed, three of them were selling some kind of invasive species. One nursery in particular had five species of barberry and ten species of Norway maple alone. Out of the three nurseries that were selling invasives, a total of nine out of the thirteen species listed above were present. The four nurseries found that were not selling any invasives were all located within the New York City area and sold only house plants. It is possible that if they had more space then they too would be selling invasives.

While many nurseries are still selling invasive plants, I have found three organizations in the New York area that sell native plant species only. These three organizations also participate in some educational programs that teach landscapers, gardeners, etc. about how to plant a native garden that is good for the unique ecosystems in Eastern North America. These organizations are:

1. The Plantsmen Nursery (Ithica, NY)
2. The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College (Westchester, NY)
3. The Greenbelt Native Plant Center (Staten Island, NY)

So the next time you think about buying a new plant for your garden, be sure to look up native species that would be beneficial to the environment to plant and also think about and re-visit the list of invasive plants to avoid. By doing this, you can help reduce the transformation and destruction of native wetland and forest ecosystems by invasives.

Read the story at link.

Note from Bill - I would like to add the Long Island Native Grass Initiative (LINGI) to the list of organizations selling native plants. Visit LINGI's website at link.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week of October 19, 2009

Updated 10/22. The latest news is at the bottom of this post.


Culls Expand as the Deer Chomp Away


TAIT E. JOHANSSON and James F. Nordgren do not hate animals.

In fact, they help run the Bedford Audubon Society, which protects birds and other wildlife in northeastern Westchester and eastern Putnam Counties. Yet, as they gaze across a meadow to a forest behind their headquarters here, their resolve is strengthened to support a measure that the public does not usually associate with conservation groups — deploying bowhunters to kill white-tailed deer.

What the two glimpse beyond the meadow is a four-foot-high void, called a browseline, under the dense stands of hickory, maple and oak trees. The void has been carved out by deer, which have gobbled up all the low-rise shrubs, wildflowers and saplings as efficiently as a hedge trimmer. With no trees younger than 20 years to speak of in those woods, these conservationists worry that in another 50 years there will be no forest left.

“As old trees die and there are no young trees replacing them, we could be looking at a barren landscape,” said Mr. Nordgren, the society’s executive director.

For a decade or so, towns, villages and counties in the New York region, similarly concerned about too many deer, have dispatched bowhunters and sometimes sharpshooters to cull the herds. But now the cull is getting bigger, as one of the largest local jurisdictions — Westchester County — allows culling for the first time in its own parkland, and a few towns and villages within that county are considering similar moves. What’s more, these places, more densely populated than many of the communities that currently authorize such culling, are focusing on bowhunting rather than shooting, for safety reasons. That preference is prompting criticism from animal-rights groups, who see bowhunting as particularly cruel.

Hunting with firearms is permitted throughout much of New York State, except in those counties, like Westchester, and towns that forbid it.

Westchester’s decision to allow bowhunting for culling purposes came after a county task force examined the issue for three years. Specifically, the county in August invited bowhunters to participate in a cull in two large Westchester preserves — Muscoot Farm Park and Lasdon Park. The 65 hunters, chosen from among 280 applicants, will thin the herds from early next month until year’s end. The hunters will not be paid for their work but can get as much venison as they want, with the rest going to food banks.

Westchester elected to allow only bowhunting to thin herds because it deemed that method to be relatively safe. Harming passers-by is less likely, the thinking goes, because a typical arrow has a range of no more than 30 yards, compared to a bullet’s 200 yards or more. And most archers hunt from 10-foot-high tree stands, so their arrows head downward. (The bows are fiberglass or carbon devices that, along with a set of aluminum arrows, can cost more than $1,000.) [...]

Conservationists like Mr. Nordgren bring additional concerns to the list of deer damage — by stripping the low-lying brush, they say, the deer threaten the local survival of species like the wood thrush and the Kentucky warbler, which need low-rise forests for nesting.

But in espousing hunting to thin the herds, these conservationists are running up against animal rights advocates — often their allies on other issues — who feel that killing deer is morally offensive and slaying them with arrows especially misguided. [...]

Supporters of culls point to the density of the deer population — like the herds on Ward Pound Ridge Reservation — and say that thinning such crowded herds is a kindness to the animals, not cruelty. “When there’s 60 per square mile, there is not enough food,” said Mr. Johansson, the naturalist at the Bedford Audubon Society. “We’re all animal rights people and from our point of view the deer are starving. We’re finding mature adults that are just 60 pounds.” [...]

Read the full article at link.


Citizens mapping invasive species online is an invasive species mapping program that allows citizens, school groups, and professionals to enter invasive species observations into a global database. The observations are then used for natural resource management, scientific studies, and environmental education. provides an opportunity for students and volunteers to perform field studies that contribute to our collective biological databases. You may submit your observations to our online database using our field tools. Link


Notice of public meeting on ship ballast water

Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

SUMMARY: This notice provides the times and locations of two public meetings which will be held by the Coast Guard (USCG) regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Standards for Living Organisms in Ships’ Ballast Water Discharged in U.S. Waters” that published in the Federal Register on Friday, August 28, 2009.

DATES: Public meetings will be held in the Oakland, CA (October 27, 2009) and New York, NY (October 29, 2009)areas to provide opportunities for oral comments. The comment period for the NPRM closes on December 4, 2009. All comments and related material submitted after a meeting must either be submitted to our online docket via on or before December 4, 2009 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: The public meetings will be held at the Marriott Oakland City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA, 94607, on October 27, 2009, and the Marriott New York Downtown, 85 West Street at Albany Street, New York, NY, 10006, on October 29, 2009. All meetings will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. local time unless otherwise noted. The meetings may conclude before the allotted time if all matters of discussion have been addressed.

You may submit written comments identified by docket number USCG-2001-10486 before or after the meeting using any one of the following methods:

(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal:
(2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
(3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC
(4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

Our online docket for this rulemaking is available on the Internet at under docket number USCG-2001-10486.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rulemaking, call or e-mail Mr. John Morris, Project Manager, Environmental Standards Division, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, telephone 202-372-1433, e-mail:


Monday, October 12, 2009

Week of October 12, 2009

Updated 10/17. Newest articles are at the bottom of the post.

Goats help planned rec center take a bite toward progress

Animals clear the weeds for planned recreation, environmental center in city's Druid Hill Park

By Meredith Cohn,

goatsThe decrepit mansion once served as home to the president of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, but two decades of brush has grown and, along with vandals, has made it uninhabitable.

Cue the goats.

In what's the first step to a $10 million project to transform this piece of Druid Hill Park into an environmental and recreational center for the city, the four-legged weed whackers have cleared a half-acre ring of ivy and other invasive species. The herd of 40 will be brought back to clear the rest of the 9-acre parcel that few have used, legally anyway, for years.

"It's been an eyesore and has all sorts of unsavory activity going on," said Jean DuBose, director of development and promotions for the Parks & People Foundation, a Baltimore nonprofit group that has undertaken the project. "Most people don't even know it's part of the park. But soon it will be a great resource in the city." [...]

To get started, and even get near the mansion, the foundation needed to clear the overgrowth. Human labor might have been too expensive. The fastest and cheapest way to clear brush would have been herbicide, said Brian Knox, the supervising forester for Ec

o-Goats, the Davidsonville-based firm that supplies the herd. [...] The eco-friendly goats cost about $300 for the first half-acre. [...]

Read the full story at link.


What if tree-killing bugs chomp Adirondack Forest Preserve?

By MIKE LYNCH, Adirondack Daily Enterprise Outdoors Writer

RAY BROOK, NY - State officials are grappling with how to best proceed if tree-killing forest pests reach the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve, and it appears a constitutional amendment is low on their priority list.

One of the main methods for getting rid of pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle has been to cut down the trees and chip the wood to small pieces. This method raises legal questions here in the Park because Article XIV of the state Constitution prohibits the cutting of live trees and removal of timber on the Forest Preserve.

Because of the legal complexities, a collection of state officials, scientists and environmental advocates called the Forest Preserve Advisory Committee has been studying the issue.

"There was a consensus among group members that a constitutional amendment would be a last resort," said Rob Davies, director of lands and forests for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. "I think there was a reluctance to the idea of a constitutional amendment, to try to address ahead of time a forest invasion in the Forest Preserve."

Davies was speaking to the state Adirondack Park Agency Thursday during a special presentation on invasive species. He said the Asian longhorned beetle, because of its ability to kill most hardwood trees including maples, could be the most devastating to the Park. This beetle is not new to New York, however; outbreaks of it have been seen in the New York City area since 1996.

The emerald ash borer, on the other hand, is quickly spreading eastward from the Midwest and wiping out ash trees as it goes. Only 2 percent of the Adirondack Park's trees are ash, state officials say, but the ash borer's speed is raising awareness of the danger posed by all invasive tree pests.

Davies said the committee recommended a revision of currently existing guidelines for fighting invasive species and also amending the DEC's incident command system for responding to emergencies should be done first; he expects work will begin on this soon.

Amending the State Land Master Plan is another consideration.

Davies said one reason a constitutional amendment is not considered a good strategy is that it requires two successful votes of the state Legislature and also passage by the people in a statewide general election. A pest could show up in the Forest Preserve well before such an endeavor is undertaken.

"I think there was a recognition that the timing of a constitutional amendment doesn't work," Davies said. "We could have emerald ash borer here next week or next year. You're not going to have a constitutional amendment for years."

Plus, Davies said, the DEC could fight tree-killing pests with the current laws. Davis said there is enough legal precedent to cut trees and take other measures on the Forest Preserve in cases where it is necessary to save the forest.

"The fact that we don't have a constitutional amendment in hand today doesn't stop us from taking action tomorrow," Davies said.

He did say that a constitutional amendment may be considered as part of a long-term strategy.

Another reason from shying away from the constitutional amendment was that the committee members were concerned they could do more harm than good by revising Article XIV.

But APA Commissioner Lani Ulrich, of Old Forge, expressed concern that perhaps the group was limiting their options and suggested "possibly expanding the folks that are around that table and having that conversation again."

"I'm concerned about what kind of Forest Preserve we would have left if we didn't have every (tool) to fight this," Ulrich said.

Steve Sanford, director of the DEC's office of invasive species coordination, defended the decision to not immediately pursue a constitutional amendment. He told the APA he originally favoring such an action but changed his mind.

"I gave heed to the judgment of a lot of veterans in the room who said, 'You're opening Pandora's Box. We could wind up with an Article XIV that is less useful than the one that exists today,'" Sanford said.

Read the story at link.


Invasives a growing threat to Adirondacks

North Country Public Radio

Adirondack Park Agency commissioners were given a status report yesterday on what’s considered to be the biggest threat to the ecology of the Adirondacks.

Invasive species like milfoil and phragmities are spreading fast throughout the Park, clogging waterways and taking over wetlands.

Hillary Smith is director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program. “This threat of invasive species is worsening,” she said. “I saw a real window of opportunity in the Adirondacks and even in my short time here that window is closing. There still are lots of opportunities for us. But the reality is the situation is very much an urgent one and it’s a growing problem.”

Within the last two weeks, an invasive called spiny water flea, which can ruin fisheries, was found in Great Sacandaga Lake and Peck’s Lake, both in the southern Adirondacks. A record number of yellow iris, which invades wetlands, were also found in the Park this year. And milfoil infestations spread to more Adirondack lakes, including Lake Placid.

Smith said their ability to fight back and eradicate invasives is being put to the test. “With every new invasive that makes it through the borders,” she said, “we have an increasing demand for management, increasing demand for spread prevention measures and increasing demand for resources that we all know are very tight at this time.”

Last year the state created an Office of Invasive Species Coordination within the Department of Environmental Conservation.

But the program’s director, Steve Sanford, told agency commissioners that funding for the effort was less than promised. And he said the money was tied up in a battle over the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. “We had planned to be able to spend $5 million, the trouble is there’s only $3 million we can use,” he said. “We had to make some decisions yesterday about what we’re going to go forward with. It’s not where we hoped to be, but at least the faucet’s back on again it was shut off for 11 months.”

Thursday’s meeting also included discussion of the emerald Ash borer and the Asian longhorn beetle, which threaten Adirondack forests. DEC Lands and Forests Director Rob Davies says so far the insects haven’t been found in the Park.

But he said their impact on the region’s ecosystem and economy could be devastating, “As you can imagine, the longer the pest is around, the greater the risk it is going to get out, it is going to impact our maple sugar industry and get into maple sugar stands.”

Removing infected trees could be difficult in the forest preserve if an outbreak occurs, because of environmental rules. Davies said the DEC is working to come up with new rules and guidelines for fighting invasives in the Park.

Read the story and listen to audio at link.


Announcement and Call for Abstracts
for the 17th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species

This is an announcement and call for abstracts of oral presentations and posters for the 17th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species that is being hosted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and held at the Westin San Diego, San Diego, California from August 29 to September 2, 2010. Please note that the abstract submission deadline is Friday, December 11, 2009.

The early registration deadline for the conference is June 25, 2010.

Elizabeth Muckle-Jeffs
Conference Administrator
The Professional Edge
1027 Pembroke Street East, Suite 200
Pembroke, ON K8A 3M4 Canada

Email: elizabeth[at]


New invasives positions at the Institute for Regional Conservation

For information, contact Keith A. Bradley, bradley[at]REGIONALCONSERVATION.ORG

Institute for Regional Conservation
22601 S.W. 152 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33170


Great Lakes group seeks action against carp threat


A coalition of Great Lakes protection groups called today for emergency action to prevent flooding in the Des Plaines River, where Asian carp have invaded and which sits 100 feet from an electric barrier to keep the carp out of Lake Michigan.

Sandbags or concrete barriers need to be put up along the river to prevent the carp from escaping from the river into the canal above the barrier, the groups said.

"This is a natural disaster waiting to happen,” said Jennifer Nalbone of Great Lakes United. “We need to respond to it like we would respond to a hurricane."

The urgent threat is that heavy rains, such as those the region experienced in September 2008, could flood the river enough that the carp could jump into the canal above an electric barrier, giving them free access to the Great Lakes. The ferocious silver carp grow to 100 pounds, threaten boaters and jet-skiers by leaping out of the water and injuring them, and could destroying the food web in the Great Lakes because they’re voracious eaters. They escaped from southern fish farms decades ago and have made their way to the edge of the Great Lakes. [...]

Read the full story at link.


Report Documents the Risks of Giant Invasive Snakes in the U.S.

DOI. United States Geological Survey.

Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a USGS report released. The report details the risks of nine non-native boa, anaconda and python species that are invasive or potentially invasive in the U.S. Because all nine species share characteristics associated with greater risks, none was found to be a low ecological risk. Two of these species are documented as reproducing in the wild in South Florida, with population estimates for Burmese pythons in the tens of thousands.

Read the full story and the report at link.


Thirty Groups Join Together to Harvest the Seeds of Change

Effort Underway to Restore Long Island’s Native Grasslands and the Wildlife they Support and Make Plants Commercially Available to Public

Riverhead, NY — October 15, 2009 — The Long Island Native Grassland Initiative (LINGI), an organization of more than 30 non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and nursery professionals, including The Nature Conservancy, harvested the "seeds of change" today in Riverhead. The group, which has been restoring Long Island’s declining native grasslands for the wildlife species that depend on them, gathered seeds from mature plants which will be used to propagate next year’s crop.

Grasslands and the birds and wildlife that depend on them are the single most threatened habitat on earth due to development and the encroachment of invasive plant species. [...]

“Until now, it’s been difficult, if not impossible to find local native grasses for sale,” said project lead Polly Weigand, Soil District Technician for Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a source of native plant material –as an alternative to cultivars and hybrid plants –for use in landscaping, restoration, grassland establishment, roadside plantings, biofuel programs, and nurseries.” [...]

Read the article at link.


A downloadable resource that may be of interest to some of you

A Best Management Practices Handbook

Lyn A. Gettys, William T. Haller and Marc Bellaud, editors

Prepared by:
Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation
3272 Sherman Ridge Rd
Marietta, GA 30064

Ann Bove
Aquatic Invasive Species Management
(802) 241-3782

This message is brought to you as a service of the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.


Update on Maine hydrilla infestation

Here is an update concerning the recent discovery of hydrilla in Damariscotta Lake, Maine.

· DEP divers have installed benthic barriers on patches of hydrilla that have spread to the cove just outside of the infested lagoon. No tubers have been detected on the plants outside of the lagoon.

· DEP is currently placing stone riprap across both entrances to the infested lagoon to create a strong physical barrier between the infestation and the rest of the lake.

· This week, DEP will begin the process of manually removing and disposing of the hydrilla in the infested lagoon.

· Roberta Scruggs has written an excellent article on the hydrilla infestation in the recent issue of the LEA Milfoil Update newsletter. To view the article on line please visit

· According to Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association’s Alice Phillips, “Volunteers have come out of the woodwork to help survey the lake and help us determine if there are any other infested areas. Roughly 50% of the lake has now been surveyed. We are so appreciative of the help!”

· Forty individuals have answered DLWA’s call for help. Members of the DLWA survey team include trained VLMP Invasive Plant Patrollers and others from the Damariscotta Lake area, plus a cadre of certified Plant Patrollers from ”away.” To date no additional invasive plants have been observed.

· This year’s survey season is swiftly fading, but we may be lucky and get a few more days of prime survey weather. WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR TRAINED PLANT PATROLLERS TO ASSIST WITH THIS SURVEY. If you think you can help, please contact Alice Phillips at DLWA, dlwastaff[at]

· There are other ways you can get involved. Is your lake community actively working to prevent the spread of aquatic invaders? Do you have a “well oiled” system in place for detecting aquatic invaders as soon as possible after introduction? If the answer to either of these questions is no, please contact the VLMP at vlmp[at] today. We look forward to working with you!

Thanks again!

Roberta Hill
Program Director
Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program's Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants

Below is the previous announcement, dated September 28, 2009:

Dear Maine Lake Monitors:

I am writing to inform you of Maine’s latest confirmed invasive aquatic plant infestation. Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) has now been confirmed in Damariscotta Lake. Hydrilla, often referred to as the “worst of the worst” invasive aquatic plant threatening aquatic ecosystems worldwide, was discovered in a small cove along the western shore of Damariscotta Lake, by Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (DLWA) member and VLMP Invasive Plant Patroller, Dick Butterfield. There is no way of knowing at present, how widespread this plant may be in the lake, but a preliminary survey of nearby coves uncovered no additional invasive plants, providing hope that Mr. Butterfield may have detected the pioneer colony.

This is the kind of discovery that all Plant Patrollers train and practice for, but dread the thought of ever actually making. On the good side, this discovery provides clear and concrete evidence of the effectiveness and value of citizen based lake monitoring. Maine’s early detection system, largely powered by trained and dedicated volunteers, is saving Maine lakes. Here is a brief summary of how things have unfolded to date:

September 20 – Dick Butterfield gathered his gear, slipped into his kayak and began the task of surveying the shoreline to the north and south of his property on the west side of the lake. At one point, he paddled into a small (0.3 acre) shallow cove, and was instantly alerted to something that “was not right.” A dense carpet of plants filled the cove. According to Dick, the growth was so dense it looked “solid enough to walk on.” Using the identification keys he received with his Invasive Plant Patrol training, Dick soon came to the realization that he may have come upon one of the invasive plants of concern. He carefully bagged a sample and sent it to the VLMP for confirmation.

September 22 - Dick’s plant specimen is received by the VLMP, and its identification is tentatively confirmed.

September 23 - Maine Department of Environmental (DEP) and VLMP staff meet on site with Dick and partners from Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association to conduct a preliminary assessment of the infestation and to collect more samples for a confirmed identification.

September 24 - DEP divers install containment screens across the mouth of the infested cove to prevent hydrilla fragments from migrating into greater Damariscotta Lake. VLMP and DLWA begin to mobilize trained Invasive Plant Patrollers from Damariscotta Lake and elsewhere in the state to begin monitoring nearby coves to determine the scope of hydrilla in the lake.

This is where you come in . . . WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP!! There are not many days left in the season to conduct surveys. Please call VLMP at 783-7733 or or Alice Phillips at DLWA (549-3836, today to learn how you can get involved.

Only one other water body in the state, Pickerel Pond in Limerick, is infested with hydrilla. In total, 31 out of Maine’s 5,700 ponds and lakes are known to contain an invasive aquatic plant species.

Since the first Invasive Plant Patrol workshop was offered by the VLMP in 2001, Over 2000 individuals have been trained through the program. Trained IPP volunteers are responsible for the majority of all invasive aquatic plant screening surveys being conducted in the State of Maine. The VLMP’s Invasive Plant Patrol Program is funded by boater participation in Maine’s Lake and River Sticker Program and private donations.

Thank you all, for keeping your eyes on the plants.

Roberta Hill
Program Director
Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program's Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants


Invasive vines assault East Coast beaches

By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

beachvitexA fast-growing vine imported from Korea to stop massive erosion of sand dunes — home to sea turtle hatchlings and such shore birds as plovers — is destroying dunes in the Carolinas and threatens to creep into beaches up and down the East Coast.

The beach vitex, a woody plant with waxy leaves and a pretty purple flower, was planted widely along the Carolina coast after Hurricane Hugo ravaged beaches and dunes in 1989.

States wanted to act fast because, aside from being a nesting site for shore birds, dunes help hold back storm waters.

The vine proliferated, but there were unforeseen consequences. The plant's thickness harms nestlings, and its shallow root system fails to hold dunes together.

"They really flubbed it on this one," said Randy Westbrooks, an invasive-species prevention specialist for U.S. Geological Survey.

Beach vitex was promoted by J.C. Raulston, then-director of the North Carolina State University arboretum, because it thrives on nutrient-poor, sandy soils and grows fast. With an average growth rate of 60 feet a year, the vine can completely cover dune systems, said Melanie Doyle, a horticulturist at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Betsy Brabson, an artist and sea turtle advocate in Georgetown, S.C., said beach vitex with all its vines and runners creates such a tight network that sea turtles can't nest.

"I don't want something like beach vitex to cover the dunes for miles and miles and then we have no sea turtles," said Brabson, who heads the South Carolina Beach Vitex Task Force.

And, unlike the native sea oats and other grasses that people are used to seeing on dunes, beach vitex doesn't help dunes grow into a high barrier against storm surges, Doyle said.

This year the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services declared the plant a "noxious weed," banning it from being sold or planted.

Crews have fanned out across coastal North and South Carolina to eradicate it, cutting the plants with machetes and dabbing them with a herbicide.

Indications are that the eradication may be tougher than first thought.

Isolated strands of the vine have been found in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Members of the Beach Vitex Task Force thought they were on the road to victory against the invader until a "real bombshell" was discovered in Maryland, said Lee Rosenberg, environmental services manager for Norfolk, Va.

This month, a U.S. Park Service biologist reported beach vitex in the Maryland side of Assateague Island National Seashore, home to about 300 wild ponies. Westbrooks suggests that the plant's seeds are transported by ocean currents.

Rosenberg said he believes migratory birds are behind the propagation.

"That means any area north and south is subject to being colonized by beach vitex just by seeds being brought by birds," Rosenberg said. [...]

Read the full story at link.

Photo by Hyunsoo Leo Kim, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot, via, AP.


New U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Invasive Species Policy


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week of October 5, 2009

Updated 10/10

Underground RR talk and invasives removal, Oct. 10

WHEN: Saturday, October 10, 9:30am – 12:00pm

WHERE: Underground Railroad Experience Trail, 16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD

WHAT: Dr. Jenny Masur of the National Park Service will speak on the history of the Underground Railroad in the DC area. Dr. Masur is the National Capitol Region Manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Dr. Masur will highlight some of the personalities in Montgomery County, locations, and methods of escape through the Underground Railroad system. We will then remove invasive plant species.

RSVP: Jeremy Arling at jeremy.arling[at]



Georgia EPPC annual meeting

The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council Annual Meeting to be held at the State Botanical Garden in Athens on Thursday Nov. 5. Time is running out for early registration.

Please go to the GA-EPPC website for online registration or a mail-in registration form.


Toxins tied to fish kill may have hitchhiked

By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

An invasive toxic algae, blamed for contributing to the massive Dunkard Creek fish kill along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border, may have hitchhiked to the region aboard equipment used in Marcellus shale drilling.

That kind of transregional travel could put fish and aquatic life in the states' other creeks and watersheds at risk in coming years as thousands of new wells are drilled into the thick and gaseous layer of shale that lies a mile deep under much of Pennsylvania and the northern Appalachians.

It has been more than a month since fish started going belly-up on Dunkard Creek, and officials with federal and state environmental and fisheries agencies have yet to identify what killed the fish or assign blame.

The only official explanation has come from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, which last week blamed alien golden algae for wiping out thousands of fish, mussels and other aquatic life in 35 miles of what had been one of the most biologically diverse creeks in either state.

But the West Virginia agency doesn't know how the algae got into the creek.

"We might never know how it got there," said spokewoman Kathy Cosco. "We are trying to determine if it's present already in other water bodies or has spread."

Investigators also are looking at the possibility that someone illegally dumped drilling wastewater into the creek.

The EPA also is "very concerned" that golden algae could spread throughout the northern Appalachian region where it might devastate other fisheries, Mr. Sternberg said.

Dr. John Rodgers, a professor at Clemson University who has researched invasive freshwater algae, made the initial identification of the algae in Dunkard Creek for Consol. He said its spores could be transported by animals, in boats, on people's shoes, in blown dust or in industrial equipment.

"[Drilling equipment] is certainly something you will want to look at. This is not an organism you want to trifle with," he said, adding that it has been blamed for wiping out bass populations in Texas.

"Certainly you want to think through the pathways it took to that stream and start working on it as fast as you can."

Last week, a long-awaited 18-month state environmental review of Marcellus shale drilling issues in New York said that floating and submerged aquatic plants could be transported by a variety of equipment used in the deep shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes to crack the shale layer and release the gas it contains.

"Invasive species may potentially be transferred to a new area or watershed if unused water containing such species is later discharged at another location," the report said. "Other potential mechanisms for the possible transfer of invasive aquatic species may include trucks, hoses, pipelines and other equipment used for water withdrawal and transport."

Read the full story at link.